Fasolino’s walk-off hit sends Mohonasen baseball into area championship game

Mohonasen celebrates their high school baseball Class A quarterfinals win over Troy Monday.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Mohonasen celebrates their high school baseball Class A quarterfinals win over Troy Monday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A celebration and postgame huddle later, Mohonasen junior Anthony Fasolino was still trying to catch his breath.

And his teammate, Fasolino noted, was the one that had done the running that mattered most.

“My man, Marv,” said a smiling Fasolino, “ran so hard around the bases.”

That was Marvin Hill, who was on first base when Fasolino smashed a pitch to right-center field with the score tied in the seventh inning of Monday’s Section II Class A baseball semifinal at East Side Recreation Park. Fasolino’s game-winning RBI double scored Hill to end a memorable game in a memorable way, as Mohonasen topped Troy 8-7 in walk-off fashion to clinch its spot in Friday’s championship game at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy.

“It certainly was a back-and-forth game,” Mohonasen head coach Kevin Sheremeta said. “Every time we took something, they took it right back.”

Until the very end, when Fasolino’s double and Hill’s base-running provided a fitting close to a contest that included several lead changes and no scoreless frames in any of the final three innings. After Troy had tied the game at 7-7 in the top of the seventh inning with an RBI double from standout Mike Kennedy, Hill walked to start Mohonasen’s half of the inning and Fasolino worked his way into a 3-1 count against Troy’s Tyler Spenard.

“Don’t miss it, don’t miss it,” Fasolino said to himself as he waited for Spenard’s next pitch. “If you get one down the plate, don’t miss it. Drive it to right.”

Seconds later, Fasolino connected.

“I kept my hands in and drove it to right — and I was just so excited,” Fasolino said.

Fasolino, who was 4 for 4 with two doubles on the day, watched his batted ball as he ran toward first base, then the junior kept running as he looked to locate his classmate. 

Hill had seen Fasolino’s hit land in the gap, and immediately knew where he was headed.

“I was thinking right away, ‘I’m going home — it’s over,’ ” said Hill, whose team will play Averill Park in Friday’s Section II Class A championship game.

“It’s like a dream. It doesn’t feel real yet. I don’t know how to explain it,” Fasolino said minutes after an on-field celebration with his teammates. “It’s the best feeling ever to help our team advance. I love these guys, love our seniors. I’d do anything to keep playing one more game each week, and just extend playing with them.” 

Troy started the game’s scoring with two runs in the first inning, then Mohonasen answered with three in the second before Troy tied it in the third. Troy moved ahead 4-3 in fifth inning, but Mohonasen tied it at 4-4 and moved ahead on a two-run home run from Kam Canavally. An RBI double from Spenard and an RBI single from Nick Degiorgio tied it at 6-6 in the sixth inning, but Mohonasen’s Michael Friello’s RBI infield single put the Mighty Warriors ahead going into the final inning. Troy’s Davin Keddell-Tuckey produced a lead-off double in the top of the seventh, and Kennedy’s double scored his teammate before Mohonasen’s Kam Wright worked out of further trouble to give his club a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way, but you’ve got to tip your hat to Mohonasen,” Troy head coach Chris Stack said. “They’re a great team and well-coached. They did what they had to do to win.”

Kennedy, an MLB draft prospect who is committed to Louisiana State University, did not pitch in the game. While the senior was eligible to pitch after tossing 80 pitches in a no-hitter in Troy’s Friday quarterfinal win, Stack said there was “no chance” he’d use the star left-hander in Monday’s game.

“He was eligible to pitch, but I’m not selling my soul. He’s a young man who has a very bright future, [so we weren’t going] to possibly put him in a situation where he could get hurt. That was never a question. He was not going to pitch.”

Instead, Kennedy played first base Monday, and wrapped up his high school career with two doubles, two walks and two RBIs in four plate appearances after leading the Flying Horses to an area crown last year.

In this year’s playoffs, Troy (No. 6, 12-7) defeated Gloversville 9-2 in the first round and Albany Academy 2-0 in the quarterfinals. In the win against Albany Academy, Kennedy struck out 13 batters and walked one in a no-hitter.

Mohonasen (No. 2, 18-3) opened its postseason run Friday with a 13-4 win against La Salle, a club that had defeated the Mighty Warriors 14-3 less than two weeks earlier. In the quarterfinals, Mohonasen scored in five of its six offensive frames, and Hill led the team’s offense with a home run, double and five RBIs.

Hill had two hits against Troy, joining teammates Fasolino, Friello and Vince Carollo in recording multiple-hit games. AJ Crux, Kanavally and Friello each had two RBIs for Mohonasen. For Troy, Kennedy, Keddell-Tuckey, Austin Francis and Degiorgio each had two hits.

Michael Gage pitched 5 2-3 innings for Mohonasen, allowing six runs (three earned) and striking out six. John Stoliker recorded one out and allowed one run, and Wright recorded the final three outs for the Mighty Warriors to earn the win. For Troy, Spenard took the loss after pitching 1 2-3 innings in relief of Francis. 

A matchup with another Suburban Council foe awaits Mohonasen, and Sheremeta said his Colonial Council club will be confident when it takes the field Friday at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

“They just believe in each other,” Sheremeta said. “They feed off each other, and that’s what’s important.”

Troy 201 012 1 — 7 8 0

Mohonasen 030 031 1 — 8 12 3

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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